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Breast milk and preemie baby

  1. #1
    belgan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Kowloon, Hong Kong

    Breast milk and preemie baby


    I gave birth to my daugther prematurely last week. She is under neonatal care now. I am having problem expressing my breast milk using avent manual pump and medela swing pump. I can only get very little, as little as 10ml at one sitting from both breasts. I'm trying to pump 6 times a day. I am worried that my breast milk supply won't last until my daughter is discharged from the hospital. Is there anything else i can try or do? I welcome any advice from experienced mommies who have been through similar situation.


  2. #2
    Obiwan is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Hong Kong

    Hi Belgan, don't lose heart, some times it takes a little longer for the milk to come. You should keep pumping regularly and the supply will definitely increase. You can consider taking some supplements as well, i find that it helps. I took Mothers Love Milk Plus and Goat's Rue. Dont worry about it, stress can affect supply in a big way, and make sure you have enough sleep!

  3. #3
    bonita is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Don't worry, it took me almost a month to establish a good supply with my daughter. Don't stress, relax, and let it flow :-)

  4. #4
    jvn is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Mid-Levels, Hong Kong

    It sounds like you're doing everything right, your body won't produce huge quantities straight away, a tiny baby doesn't need that much so it gradually increases. Drink plenty of water and try to get as much rest as you can.

    I hope your baby is home with you soon.

  5. #5
    BlossomDB is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

    Belgan, I have PM'd you..

  6. #6
    TNT is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Hong Kong

    Firstly if your baby is less than a week old then she would only be getting small amounts of milk each session if she was feeding from you, so don't be too concerned. Having said that, pumping 6 times a day is the bare minimum to get your supply established according to the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League's book) and ideally you should aim for 8-12 sessions in 24 hours including at least one at night as your baby would be feeding that regularly at this stage. This sounds a lot I know, but it is the same when you are breastfeeding; you don't have to do it every 3 hours, you can 'cluster pump' like a baby feeds ie pump a little, leave for a little while, try again maybe 30 mins later. This is only in the first few weeks to build up your supply. Am not sure if this is your first baby, assuming it is then it is better to be cautious and pump more as some women and their babies need more regular feeding to build up supply and it is harder to do (on average) purely from pumping without the direct stimulation of the baby sucking at the breast.

    Good luck and I hope your baby is home with you soon. If you have any specific questions give La Leche League a call, it is free and they can really provide some good advice.

  7. #7
    mavislohsp is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Don't worry, I faced the same situation too, I don't get to pump out more than 20ml in the 1st week and for a newborn they don't need so much in one feed yet. Don't stressed up, get more rest and relax and stay positive!

    You r doing well so far!

  8. #8
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    Do you plan on pumping long-term? If so, I DEFINITELY think that you need to pump more frequently.

    I too have pumped for a little one in NICU - although not premature (as a side note, I have heard that it takes longer getting started with breastfeeding a preemie, since you body is not as "ready" or something. Not sure if it's true or not - could just be an old wives tale...) - the recommendations given to me were:

    1. Pump at LEAST 8 times a day until your supply is well established (pumping 700ml a day or more)
    2. Do not go for more than 5 hours between two pumps. You MUST set an alarm and pump in the middle of the night in order to really establish your supply.

    I have written about my experience of pumping for a year with my daughter who could not breastfeed here: - if you're interested, you can have a read. There is another earlier post about it here -

    I completely understand that it can be VERY hard to deal with the stress of NICU, going into hospital to see your little one, the uncertainties of his/her health, and pumping on top of it - so if pumping is "too high a price to pay" (it is awfully hard work), that is completely acceptable too - but if you do want to pump/breastfeed long term, I would really encourage you to put in the extra effort for the first 6 weeks or so in order to REALLY establish your supply. It does get easier - once your supply is increased, you won't need to pump as often and won't need to do the night pump... before I weaned my daughter, I was only pumping twice a day and meeting all her needs just with pumping twice. But it took a LOT LOT LOT of work to get to that stage...

    All the best - and if you want to PM me or email me directly (nicolejoy81(at), please do... xox

    bridiemexico likes this.

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